Wigan Athletic defender Gary Caldwell saw red in Monday nights game against Manchester City, when following a challenge for the ball match referee Stuart Attwell deemed that the Scotland international had been reckless in the extreme and produced a red card reducing the Latics to 10 men.
Now originally Attwell who is just 26, claimed to both the player and Latics boss Roberto Martinez that the red card was shown because there was a two footed lunge on Manchester City man Carlos Tevez, replays and photographs clearly show that this wasn`t the case.
Subsequently Attwell changed his reason for the red card at full time when someone had a quiet word with him, when compiling his match report he now deemed that the sending off was for the use of excessive force by the Latics man, talk about a cop out.
Due to `excessive force` being totally subjective, how on earth can you measure what force players put into any challenge and how on earth can you argue against the referees decision? The Latics have now no chance of appealing Caldwell`s suspension successfully and are condemned to losing the influential defender for three games of a very important end of season run-in.
I bumped into a Premier League referee yesterday in Tesco of all places, I am not going to name him to keep his anonymity and we spoke totally off the record but when I asked him about Attwell he said with a wry smile: ‘he`s young and young ref`s make a lot of mistakes`.
Now I have nothing against a referee making a mistake if they are big enough to admit to it not hiding behind statements like ‘excessive force` because if he is allowed to do that then he will never develop into the top referee that the FA hope he will.
So as you can gather I believe that the ref got it wrong with Caldwell, but whats your opinion?
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